Opening a Portuguese restaurant in the Rachel Street and Saint Laurent Boulevard vicinity is, to say the least, well-trod territory. But soon to open restaurant Aldea is hoping to spruce up the old Portuguese quarter a little.
Aldea principal Mariline Figueiredo tells Eater that the focus will be on classic Portuguese cuisine, from the country’s rural areas.
“We’re bringing traditional food that comes from traditional villages in Portugal, what you can find when you go to Portugal.”
Figueiredo says she wants Aldea to be accessible — price-wise, it’ll be a notch below various older haunts both on and off the Plateau but without dropping right down to fast food, filling that slot between the Ferreira group and Romados.
As a family operation, Figueiredo’s team seem eminently qualified to execute it all. “Almost all the family is working, my uncle, my aunt, a lot of people,” she lists off. Figueiredo’s parents (immigrants from Portugal) ran another Plateau Portuguese spot for 35 years, before turning it over to new owners. The Aldea team didn’t want their new place to be seen as a version 2.0 of this place, so its name will remain a mystery, although Eater can confirm it was well-reputed.
On the menu, expect hearty plates with ocean views: Alentejano, a braised pork with clams dish will figure, as well as a classic seafood rice. Other plates will also centre around meat and fish, promises Figueiredo. On the bar side, wine is the focus, with private import Portuguese bottles. In a departure from some of the decidedly older-school spots around, the space will have a more modern vibe, with silvers and grays, and red tiling to throw in an Iberian peninsula vibe.
It’s already getting attention from the city’s Portuguese press — accompanied by heartwarming photos of Figueiredo’s beaming parents.
Aldea will seat around 40, with online ordering for takeout an option too. It’s set to open in two weeks, around December 12, at 4403 St-Laurent.
- Restaurant Aldea [Facebook]